Page images
[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]


esteemed no divinity in the image. But ever since
I was born, a poor parishioner, a layman, durst be
80 bold at a shift (if he were also church-warden) to
sell to the use of the church at length, and his own
in the mean time, the silver cross on Easter Monday,
that was creeped unto on Good Friday. In special-
ties, there have been special abuses; but generally,
images have been taken for images, with an office to
signify an holy remembrance of Christ and his saints,
And as the sound of speech uttered by a lively
image, and representing to the understanding, by the
sense of hearing godly matter, doth stir up the mind,
and therewith the body, to consent in outward

ture of worshipful regard to that sound; so doth the
object of the image by the sight, work like effect in
man, within and without, wherein is verily wor-
shipped that we understand; and yet reverence and
worship also shewed to that, whereby we attain that
understanding, and is to us in the place of an in-
strument; so as, it hath no worship of itself, but
remaineth in his nature of stone or timber, silver,
copper, or gold.

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

Now will I speak somewhat of holy water, where in I send unto you the four and thirtieth chapter in the ninth book of the history T'ripartite, where Marcellus the bishop bad Equitius his deacon to cast abroad water by him first hallowed, wherewith to

drive away the devil. And it is noted how the devil could not abide the virtue of the water, but vanished. away. And for my part, it seemeth the history may be true: for we be assured by scripture, that in the name of God, the church is able and strong to cast out devils, according to the gospel, in nomine med dæmonia ejiciunt, &c. So as if the water were away, by only calling on the name of God that mastery may be wrought. And the virtue of the effect being only attributed to the name of God, the question should be only, whether the creature of

have the office to convey the effect of the holiness of the invocation of God's name.

water may

A man might find some youngling percase, that would say, how worldly, wily, witty bishops have inveigled simple things heretofore; and to confirm: their blessings, have also devised how kings should bless also, and so authority to maintain where truih failed ; and I have had it objected to me, that I used to prove one piece of mine argument ever by a king, as when I reasoned thus:--if ye allow nothing but scripture, what say you to the king's rings ? But they be allowed; ergo, somewhat is to be allowed besides scripture. And another; if images be forbidden, why doth the king wear St. George on his breast? But he weareth St. George on his breast; ergo, inlages bę not forbidden. If saints be not to

[ocr errors]

be worshipped; why keep we St. George's feast? But we keep St. George's feast, ergo, &c. And in this matter of holy water, if the strength of the invocation of the name of God, to drive away the devils, cannot be distribute by water; why can it be distribute in silver; to drive away diseases, and the dangerous disease of the falling evil. But the rings hallowed by the holy church may do so ; ergo, the water hallowed by the church may do like service. These were sore arguments in his time, and I trust be also yet, and may be conveniently used, to such as would never make an end of talk, but rake up every thing that their dull sight cannot penetrate; wherein, methought, ye spake effectually, when ye said, men must receive the determination of the particular church, and obey where God's law repugneth not expressly. And in this effect, to drive away devils, that prayer and invocation of the church may do it, scripture maintaineth evidently ; and the same scripture doth authorise us so to pray, and encourageth us to it.

Albeit there hath been between you and me no familiarity, but contrariwise, a little disagreement (which I did not hide from you), yet considering the fervent zeal ye professed to teach Peter's true doctrine, that is to say, Christ's true doctrine, where unto ye thought the doctrine of images and holy water, to put away devils agreed not, I have willing

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

ly spent this time to communicate unto you my folly (if it be folly) plainly as It is, whereupon ye may have occasion the more substantially, fully, and plainly, to open these matters for the relief of such as be fallen from the truth, and confirmation of those that receive and follow it, wherein it hath been ever much commended, to have such regard to histories of credit, and the continual use of the church, rather to shew how a thing continued from the beginning, as holy water and images have done, may be well used, then to follow the light rash eloquence, which is ever ad manum, to mock and improve that is established, &c. &c.

Your loving friend,


The public character of bishop Gardiner is well known. In a personal view, he was a man of considerable learning and talents; but though his sentiments were, in some respects, of a liberal cast, his teinper was haughty, ambitious, and cruel. Though a great persecutor of heretics, and the principal instrument of queen Mary's cruelties, it appears that he considered religion merely as an engine of state, and used it only for his selfish and ambitious purposes.


Only four copies of this very curious work were known to be extant till Dr. Leyden published his excellent edition in 1801. It has been attributed to Wedderburn and to sir James Inglis, on insufficient authority. Dr. Leyden supposes sir David Lindsay was the author. All tbat is certain is, that it was written in 1549.

The extract is remarkable, as containing a greater number of imitative words than can be found elsewhere. As the book is in the Scottish dialect, there would be a singular impropriety in much changing the orthography.

There eftir I heard the rumour of rammasche ? foulis and of beystis that made grite beir, quhilk past beside burnis and boggis on green bankis to seek their sustentation. · Their brutal sound did redond to

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »